Category: Interbike 2008

Man, we haven’t done one of these in a while…

Last night when I got home from work, I was thrilled to discover a package waiting for me — a fixed gear frameset from the folks at 183rd Street Cycles. You may remember the company from our coverage at last year’s Interbike.


Details on the frame are a bit sketchy…but what we do know is this: the frame is made from double-butted Tange chromoly and is TIG welded. The fork has a low rake (30mm!) for fast handling, and both fork and rear bridge are drilled for brakes, so this could be a singlespeed or fixed gear machine. The only braze-on on the entire frameset is a pair of waterbottle cage holes on the seat tube (it’s more aero that way, I swear!).

Normally, the frameset comes in white or “E.D. Black”, a flat black that requires no additional prep before powdercoating with another color. As you can see, though, 183rd Street whipped us up a special one that is a dark green with silver sparkles…they know I like to express my inner Bootsy Collins from time to time!

The fork itself is a thing of beauty. In my opinion, it’s the way a steel fork should look. 183rd Street could have taken the easy way out and designed a unicrown fork like so many other manufacturers, but they took the extra steps and specified a flat crown with long-point lugs and cutouts on the front and rear. Gorgeous.

pretty fork

Rear forkends are drilled and tapped for long setscrews that help tension the chain and also help prevent the axle from slipping under load. No additional chaintugs are needed:


Over the next couple months, I will be building this bike up with an assortment of new and used parts. This project will give me the opportunity to try out some of the bits from the good folks over at Velo Orange (stem, headset, Milano citybike handlebars and possibly a seatpost). It ain’t gonna be a “hipster fixie”, but there WILL be some colorful additions — I can’t help myself! After all, it IS a sparkle paintjob!

If you spend a lot of time riding your bike, you may come to value a particular saddle that works for you. Several years ago, I discovered the Wilderness Trail Bikes “SST” saddle (in my case, the SST.X “Flash” model) and I pretty much fell in love with it. Trouble was, WTB no longer made this saddle, and NIB/NOS examples can be hard to find on the auction market.

So, I was GREATLY excited when I heard during Interbike 2008 that WTB was going to be re-releasing the saddle for 2009. No word on when, exactly, they were going to bring it onto the market, and as of today they still don’t have it on their website… BUT, thanks to my pals in California and our friends at KHS Bicycles, I received a lovely Christmas gift of a pair of brand-new 2009 SST saddles to add to my fleet.

Here’s the new saddle:

WTB kept the overall shape and construction of the original SST saddle…the flat back, abrasion-resistant corner panels and the distinctive dropped nose and dipped center area. Here’s a picture showing both saddles together — you can see just how similar the two are in shape:

old and new

What’s new with the saddle are subtle refinements in the construction and shape…the back portion of the saddle is a few millimeters wider and a bit flatter, catering to folks with slightly wide-set “sit bones” or anyone who prefers flat-backed saddles to sloping ones. A new feature, to me at least, is the inclusion of WTB’s “Comfort Zone”, which serves the same purpose as a saddle cutout but without a hole. Basically, it is an oval gap cut into the nylon shell of the saddle’s underside that is filled with a plug of softer material before the saddle’s cover is glued and stapled on. It works in preventing crotch numbness, that’s for sure…but to be honest, the original saddle works just fine at that, too.

comfort zone

Although the saddle is designed for mountain bike cross-country and all-mountain disciplines, it works very well on the road, too. It is narrow enough not to look out of place on a skinny-tired machine and comfortable enough for long miles. The saddle rails have enough fore-aft adjustability in them to suit just about any application, and the saddle appears to be very well constructed.

I neglected to weigh the saddles before installing them on my bikes, but I can say they’re not lightweights. I’d guess they push the scales around 280-290 grams. These particular saddles came with chromoly rails, but I suspect that WTB will also offer a titanium-railed version at some point (this is only conjecture). WTB, if you’re reading this: PLEASE bring back glitter vinyl, even if you do it in limited-editions. I’ll stand in line to buy some more Bootsy Collins bling!

I’ll be riding with these over the next few months and I’ll let you know how they turn out. Since I got them for Christmas, I’ve already put about 150 miles on them — and they feel just like my trusty old saddle!


We are wrapping up our Interbike 2008 Video coverage with this video. I hope you enjoyed our posts, the entire crew worked really hard for 3 days. If you missed any of our videos or posts, simply click on the ‘Interbike 2008‘ category on the sidebar.

On this video, Detour talks about their 09 line up as well as showing bags made with recycled trash.

Although we were not able to find out why Kona chose not to go the Xtracycle compatible route, we had the chance to talk to the designer of the Dew bikes. On the video, ‘Dr. Dew’ talks about what is new for the ’09 Ute: